6.8/10
508
9 user 16 critic

Merrily We Go to Hell (1932)

A drunken newspaperman is rescued from his alcoholic haze by an heiress whose love sobers him up and encourages him to write a play, but he lapses back into dipsomania.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Jerry Corbett
Adrianne Allen ...
Claire Hempstead
...
Buck (as Skeets Gallagher)
...
Mr. Prentice
Esther Howard ...
Vi
...
Charlcie
Charles Coleman ...
Richard Damery
...
Charlie Baxter / 'DeBrion' in play
...
Gregory 'Greg' Boleslavsky
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Minor Role (unconfirmed)
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Storyline

Nere-do-well Jerry Corbett finally meets and marries the right girl, Joan Prentiss. Unfortunately their wedded bliss is interrupted when Jerry's play becomes a hit and he hooks up with the wrong woman from his past. Joan decides that turn-about is fair play and she picks another man to escort her around to various parties around New York. Eventually Jerry quits drinking and sends his girlfriend packing, just in time for Joan to take him back. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In her innocence she expected days and nights of tender love. What she got was a Bitter Shock!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

10 June 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I, Jerry, Take Thee, Joan  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher was a last minute replacement for Jack Oakie. See more »

Quotes

Claire Hempstead: Dear, why are you treating me with this devotion?
Jerry Corbett: Devotion?
Claire Hempstead: Well, about as much devotion as I'd show to a boa constrictor. Is it because I treated you badly once?
Jerry Corbett: I didn't think you knew that you had.
Claire Hempstead: I was young and egotistical, Jerry.
Jerry Corbett: Well, what are you now?
Claire Hempstead: Young and egotistical.
See more »

Soundtracks

On the banks of the Wabash Far Away
(uncredited)
Words and Music by Paul Dresser
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User Reviews

 
Alcohol-Soaked Pre-Code Film Is a Very Good One
12 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A wonderful and unsettling pre-Code film about an alcoholic playboy (Fredric March) who marries a sweet young thing (Sylvia Sidney) and proceeds to drag her down his path of dissolution. The depiction of their marriage is quite shocking, even by today's standards -- not only do they have an "open" marriage, they openly practice that freedom in front of their friends, suggesting a swinging lifestyle that wouldn't become approachable as subject matter in films for another 30+ years. March and Sidney give fantastic performances, and Dorothy Arzner, one of the rare women directors of the time, takes a matter of fact approach that leaves behind the melodrama and sentimentality that might have blunted this same story's impact in the hands of someone else.

One of the most refreshing aspects of "Merrily We Go to Hell," and one of the most shocking, is that Sidney's character does not suffer nobly while we wait for March to see the error of his ways and come back to her a chastened man. Instead, Sidney starts to behave just like him, coming within a stone's throw of alcoholism herself, and doing her own share of philandering. In that way, the film is even a little progressive in its equal treatment of the genders, even if that equality is the equality of debauchery.

Grade: A


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